Personal Profile

Alumni Directory – S. Prezler

Sharon Preszler

Keynote speaker, Transition Coach and Fighter Pilot

Sharon “Betty” Preszler was hand-picked as one member of the initial cadre of women fighter pilots in the United Stated Air Force.  She was the first woman to fly the F-16 (a single seat, single engine fighter) and the first woman to fly combat missions and instruct in the F-16.  Sharon has over 1300 hours in the F-16, including over 50 combat hours in Iraq and one ejection, due to electrical failure. In her 20+ years of service in the US Air Force she was also a navigator, piloted a Lear Jet, and spent time in North American Aerospace Defense Command, writing our homeland defense plans after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 – plans that are still in use today.  After retiring from the Air Force, Sharon went to work for Southwest Airlines, where she flew over 9,000 hours in a Boeing-737.  She recently retired from Southwest Airlines as a Captain.  In her third career, Sharon is a Professional Speaker and Transition Life Coach.  Sharon’s experiences as the first woman in the F-16 and the challenges she overcame to become a successful and respected fighter pilot are the basis for her inspirational speeches.

Sharon has three keynote speeches that are inspirational, motivational and educational:

Follow Your Dreams is an inspirational speech based on my challenging path from a four-year old on her first flight to the first woman F-16 pilot, respected by her peers. Key takeaways are that what looks like luck and timing usually involves a lot of hard work, that you get to decide who gets inside your head and that perseverance is essential to reaching your dreams.

Debrief Your Life – Live Better is about the importance of looking at pivotal events in your life, debriefing them and learning lessons to make your life better lessons like focusing on what you can control and how to develop your courage. Debriefing your life takes time but it will help you live your best life.

Inclusion – Everyone, All the Time incorporates my unique perspective on inclusion. I was almost always the only woman pilot in my squadron or on my base. Feeling like part of the team is essential to peak performance. Everyone has a role in building an inclusive environment – leaders, members of the similar group and members of the diverse group. Building an inclusive environment will help your team perform at its best

You can learn more about Sharon at

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